China - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Apr 2002 to Jul 2002

: Defense Minister Chi meets with the Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Narong Yuthavong in Beijing.

: The first visit by Philippine Navy ships to the PRC begins with the arrival of two vessels in Shanghai for a five-day visit.

: A visiting military delegation led by the commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Jaafar Aziz meets senior Chinese military leaders including Zhang Wannian, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission. Fu Quanyou, chief of staff of the PLA, reportedly tells Jaffar that China is willing to develop military ties with the RBAF.

: China announces that of the nearly 300,000 refugees it has accepted since the late 1970s, most have come from Vietnam. (China invaded Vietnam in 1979, and the Vietnamese government subsequently expelled large numbers of its Sino-Vietnamese citizens to China and other countries.) Beijing quoted a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as saying that the Vietnamese are well integrated in Chinese society.  The occasion was World Refugee Day, and the announcement may have been intended to deflect criticism for China’s treatment of North Koreans fleeing into China.

: Li Peng meets with a delegation from the Thai Parliament.

: Commander of the Philippine Air Force Benjamin Defensor meets with Qiao Qingchen, commander of the PLA Air Force.

: Senior officials open a session of the Great Mekong Subregion Cooperation Meeting in Kunming, initiated by the Asian Development Bank and China, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam in 1992

: China holds the first China-ASEAN Seminar on Trade, Investment, and Development Cooperation in Kunming, with more than 400 participants from 10 ASEAN countries and China.

: A delegation led by chief of the Communist Party of Vietnam Internal Affairs department Truong Vinh Trong  holds talks in Beijing on legal reform, countering corruption, and party building.

: Fifteen Chinese “youth volunteers,” the first such peace corps-like contingent sent to any country by China, arrive in Lang Son province of Vietnam to help Vietnamese doctors provide medical care during June.

: Two ships of the Chinese PLA Navy call at Changi naval base in Singapore on the Chinese Navy’s first round the world voyage.  People’s Daily reports that the ships, a missile destroyer and a supply ship, later conduct antipiracy exercises in the Straits of Malacca.

: Following a meeting in Bali, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Yi announces that China is ready to cooperate with ASEAN countries to make the South China Sea secure.

: People’s Daily reports that the Philippines “has again been playing new tricks” in the South China Sea, by planning to extend its continental shelf from 200 nautical miles to 350 nautical miles and intensifying the “fierce and crude” arrest and detention of Chinese fishermen and boats.

: With 900,000 registered drug addicts – mostly on heroin – and an addict population up to eight times that number, China opens a three-day meeting in Beijing with representatives of Burma, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and UN representatives, and calls for stronger measures to fight narcotics production and trafficking.

: Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, en route to East Timor’s independence celebration, meets with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda in Jakarta.

: A Special Working Group on a Singapore-Kunming rail link meets in Rangoon, announces that a feasibility study had examined six routes, and recommends one that would transit Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos, with an additional sector that would integrate Burma into the network.

: Chinese officers join observers from 17 other nations at the annual U.S.-Thai-Singapore “Cobra Gold” military exercises.

: Chinese Minister of Foreign Trade Shi Guangsheng visits Vietnam.

: Finance Ministers of the ASEAN Plus Three – China, Japan, and the ROK – hold their fifth meeting in Shanghai.

: Thai PM Thaksin says he will ask China to take action against narcotics factories that have moved from Thai border territory into China, in response to Thailand’s crack down on drugs.

: Two Singapore Navy ships visit Kaohsiung in Taiwan after exercises with Taiwan’s Navy.

: Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian meets with Philippine Secretary of Defense Angelo Reyes, who tells him the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will strictly abide by the “one China” policy.

: PetroChina, China’s largest oil company, announces it will pay $216 million for the oil and gas operations in Indonesia of Devon Energy Corporation.

: Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Manh Cam tours Hainan and Guangdong provinces of China after attending the Boao Forum for Asia.

: Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Nguyen Van An visits China at the invitation of Li Peng, chairman of  the National People’s Congress.  He tells Vice Premier Li Lanqing that Vietnam will push bilateral friendship to a new high.

: Thailand’s largest commercial bank announces it is expanding its operations in China to take advantage of the expected liberalization of financial services as a result of China’s WTO membership.  Bangkok Bank projects that its Chinese operations may contribute 30 percent of its total overseas income within several years.

: Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem, visiting Beijing, asks China to expand its assistance to Vietnam’s nuclear programs in agriculture, industry, and medicine.

:  Li Ruihuan, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, tells a Philippine-China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification delegation that all Chinese people worldwide have a historical responsibility to realize the peaceful reunification of both sides of the Taiwan Strait and thanks Philippine citizens of Chinese origin for their contribution.

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